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Next Music Station
Tunisia: Cultural crossbreeding
Tunisia celebrates its musical legacy while looking toward the future and embracing rhythms from around the world.
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2011 13:25


Next Music Station
is an odyssey through the rhythms of the Arab world.

A year in production, with nine countries visited and more than 80 musicians interviewed, this series by musician and documentary filmmaker Fermin Muguruza paints a 'soundscape' of the Arab music scene.

From Morocco to the Gulf, Next Music Station takes us on a journey, exploring the music of different Arab countries, en route addressing issues of tradition and modernity, the struggles of the present and the yearning for a brighter future.

On the first episode of Next Music Station we visit Tunisia, the Mahgreb country with the deepest eastern cultural roots.

It carries the legacy of the Andalusian music that those expelled from al-Andalus - mainly Muslims and Jews - brought with them from the other side of the Mediterranean Sea.

It is a country with great cultural crossbreeding.

Nowadays, Tunisia celebrates its amazing musical legacy while at the same time looking towards the future, mixing Tunisian rhythms with those from Italy and the rest of the world.

Meet the musicians
Lotfi Bouchnak
Tunisian singer and composer Lofti Bouchnak is a maluf great master. A self-taught artist, he stays true to his roots and has an imposing presence on stage.

"I created my own musical path. I hope I have been successful. And I hope I have been true to my audience and to my mission as a singer."
Fawzi Chekili
Fawzi Chekili is a multi-instrumentalist taught in the European tradition. He plays the guitar, the piano and the laud. He is a music professor who has found in jazz music the style that unites all his preferences.

"As a musician from Tunisia, I consider music [to be] the melody that feeds me."
Sonia M'barek
Known to her Tunisian audience since childhood, Sonia M'barek has performed all of the Tunisian styles of music.

"I sang for young people, for freedom and for peace. I discovered that music is a universal language."
Zied Shinigamisan
Zied Shinigamisan is a gutsy musician who is devoted to the creation of a very personal language where all his energies and thoughts are captured.

"The most important and vital thing is to make music. In my life, all else comes second to music."
Leila El Hjaiej
Also known as Lady Taarab, Leila El Hjaiej's musical roots are in Taarab chant, a scholarly tradition.

"Before I sing, I must understand and feel the words in order to pass them on to the audience. This is the relationship between music and literature."
Riad Fehri
Riad Fehri was born in a working class neighbourhood of Tunis. He grew up listening to the sounds of the east in cafes and to the traditional Tunisian styles his parents enjoyed.

"It is an old tradition in Tunisian families that when a girl gets married she takes her piano and her musical instruments to her new home."
Badiaa
Badiaa is a singer with global influences. Using these references she creates a very personal musical language.

"There is no air like that in Tunisia. This is a feeling that people can never understand unless they live away from their homeland."

 

Episode one - Tunisia airs from Tuesday, April 26, at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more on the series.
Source:
Al Jazeera
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